Harry McNeil, overcome by the world’s ongoing insanities and with a sense of time passing, quits his TV anchorman position for the life of a riverboat pilot. His story unfolds as the existential journey of an Ishmaelite piloting the Argus and its tow of barges downriver from Minneapolis to New Orleans. Unwonted complications occur when the CEO of Arexxco, one of the world’s dominant oil corporations, boards with his wife Sally, a former lover of McNeil.
The Mississippi River in 1953 is an original and poignant look at America’s mythic river as it appeared in mid-twentieth century. It is an evocative and historical testament to a lost era, and is enriched with Sharp’s finely wrought excerpts from his trip journal.
Something happens when playing with, or simply looking at, an admired toy. Magic occurs. The Wonder of American Toys reflects the toys of one of the most formative eras in American history, but also the society that produced them. From the Jazz Age, the Depresson and the onset of the Atomic age, it’s all compellingly presented here, a glorious primer of life in America as it was lived not so long ago.